a true tale

DSC_4997I’d intended to post this week’s Kitchen Sink Tales yesterday, meaning Thursday, the day gnocchi is traditionally eaten in Rome. Of course you can eat them whenever the heck, or day you want. Having been the woman Artusi writes about – the one who puts her spoon in the boiling gnocchi pan to stir, only to watch them disintegrate like a soluble aspirin in a glass of water – but now having got the knack, I hope I share that. I would love to know your stories, both good and bad, also the types of potato that work best for you, wherever you are, the egg or no egg.

I cannot sigh off without a deep, loving nod to Alan Rickman. Most actors (or in my case ex actor) have a tale set during their drama school years, when they queued for returns then sat thorough the same production half a dozen times, each performance more spine tingling than the previous. For me, it was Alan Rickman’s Anthony to Helen Mirren’s Cleopatra at the National Theatre in the late 90’s. I was hypnotized by his long, expressive face and body; both with a laid back seductiveness, and rich, resonant voice, somewhere between a purr, a snarl and a song, which came from almost disconcertingly closed lips. I can hear his voice now. Again in A Winter Guest at the Almeida, then films Truly Madly Deeply and Close My Eyes, he knocked me sideways. He was an actor who made me want to be an actor. Reading the tributes that are flooding in from those who knew him, all of which confirm his hypnotic brilliance, we learn too of his extraordinary loyalty, generosity, kindness, political integrity and boundless creativity. The world is a sadder place without him. It is going to sound naff maybe, but reading them, and thinking of AR has left me wanting to be kinder, more generous, more loyal and as creative as I can be.

Back soon with a recipe.




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17 responses to “a true tale

  1. The Millers Tale

    I saw that production of A Winters Tale, having fell in love with the play when I first encountered in during Eng Lit A level in the early eighties.

    Yes he was a wonder.

  2. The Millers Tale

    Ach…. apologies. I meant to type Cleopatra- I saw him in Cleopatra!. I had A Winter Guest in my mind while I typed and somehow it all turned into A Winters Tale.

  3. I loved this, most of all because what better reason is there for a pause than to appreciate those we have lost.

  4. Great post. We all seem to love Alan Rickman don’t we, and in my case I’ve only discovered through hios death waht a multi-faceted person he was. Rachel, I could do with sending you a personal message about your summer school. How do I do this? x

  5. I am so sad. The world is a drabber place today.

    Alan Rickman was brilliant in everything. The HP series barely survived the loss of Richard Harris; I doubt it would have survived the loss of Alan Rickman because to have lost him would, in fact, have been to have lost Snape. No one could have filled his cape.

  6. laura

    Thank you for your tribute to Alan Rickman … “a purr, a snarl and a song”, indeed. We are very much sadder without him in our world.
    Re gnocchi … an egg … and lots and lots of sage!

  7. orcagna

    You are SO lucky to have seen that Cleopatra – but then I still hanker after the RSC’s Tempest with Derek Jacobi (1983?) which I managed to see only twice…
    I first saw AR in Truly Madly Deeply and couldn’t get over him ever since.

    On a lighter note, I converted to no-egg gnocchi after a friend told me about the Marcella Hazan recipe. I was stunned by their lightness and have made them ever since. Living in Germany, I use a floury potato called Marabel most of the time, which works fine. But then potatoes are big over here 🙂

  8. Amber

    God, I love your description of AR. So spot-on. I never managed to see him on stage and regret that. But I have loved him in in every film role I have watched him in.

  9. brazilbetinhacom.wordpress.com
    Your website and perfect@@

  10. yes about AR – i used to bump into him at Primrose hill! i am so lucky and enjoying your book!……… keep it up………greetings. christinW.

  11. daydreamella

    Thank you

  12. Kathryn Wignall

    I totally agree with you about Alan Rickman.  I have never shed tears before over the death of someone that I don’t actually know, but I felt quite bereft last week upon hearing of his death.  I saw him play Hamlet in a warehouse in Bradford in 1992 and he was quite brilliant. What a wonderful voice too,mesmerising in everything he did. Such a loss.

  13. I had no idea Thursday was gnocchi day in Rome. I love that. Beautiful words about Alan Rickman, too. Truth x

  14. Trudy

    I love so many of Alan Rickman’s films, and I’ve been looking for one that just does not seem to be available on dvd: The Judas Goat. Alan is a down at his heels police detective in New Orleans on a big kidnapping case; Emma Thompson is the crisp FBI agent sent to take over the case. As always, their energy is electric and their acting is superb. As you might expect, Alan does a perfect “N’ohlans” drawl. His death is a great loss.

    I look forward to the gnocchi recipe.

  15. Nice blog! In Argentina Friday was gnocchi day… 🙂

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